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NYC part 2: the starter

Friday morning, our first full day in New York, and the sun was shining but we definitely weren't. Suffering from a combination of jet-lag and drink, we found ourselves awake by 5:30am after only a few hours sleep. 

We decided brunch was the cure, and after a shaky start including an almost vomit-inducing ride on the subway, we finally arrived at my absolute favourite breakfast place in NYC: the Clinton Street Baking Company. Now the only problem with this gem is that if you don't get there when it opens, you will be looking at a 45 minute to hour and a half wait, any day of the week.

Trust me when I tell you I have eaten a LOT of pancakes around the world, and their blueberry pancakes are the best I've had. We can all also vouch for the brioche French toast - so good.

Blueberry pancakes with warm maple butter
Brioche french toast with caramelised bananas, roasted pecans and warm maple butter

After stuffing ourselves to the max, we headed off on our main mission: to get my wedding dresses. I had an amazing seamstress Amy, a tiny little Asian woman who nearly died with happiness when she discovered that not only did I understand Cantonese, but Miss O could actually speak it! She happily rambled away to us while she got me into my dresses and gave me some "advice" on what (not) to do. Obviously I can't really say much without giving details away, so I'll just say that I left having agreed to something I hadn't planned on doing - but who am I to argue with the expertise of Amy, professional bridesmaid Miss J and the creative Miss O?

Sent away with assurances of all adjustments being complete by Monday, we wandered uptown with the intention of paying the 5th avenue apple store a visit (SO tempted to buy a new iPhone...great willpower was called upon that day).

On the way we came across Mad. Sq. Eats. at the base of the Flatiron building, which seemed perfect timing for a lunch pit stop.

Now have you ever heard of a tostilocos?

It's basically a bag of corn chips, with your choice of toppings - we went with brisket, coleslaw and guacamole.

You crush it all up, mix together in the chip bag and eat out with a fork.

It's like taco heaven, but way better, because your corn shells are already crushed up instead of cracking apart as soon as you take your first bite, leaving you with a hot sticky mess in your hands.

Seriously awesome.

Miss O also met her favourite part of the trip that day: the pork bun made famous by David Chang of Momofuku fame. Fluffy white buns, melt in the mouth pork belly, hoisin, spring onions, cucumber and a touch of hot sauce - what's not to love?

We also managed to try squeeze in a shrimp roll and salt and pepper chili prawns.

After lunch we continued our journey up town, finally heading back to the apartment exhausted, 12 hours after leaving it that morning.

Rock star naps in order, we crashed for an hour and found ourselves struggling awake at 9pm. Groggy as we were, it was Friday night in New York and there was no way we were staying in (I may not dance all night these days - well, not often anyway - but I'm definitely not that old). After getting tarted up, we headed to the Meatpacking district and managed to snag ourselves a table at Spice Market. Every dish we tried was great, but the absolute highlight was the salmon tartare. This snap doesn't do it justice, but you'll have to believe me.

Salmon tartare, soy ginger dressing, avocado and radish
Grilled strip steak, garlic, coriander and sesame

We also tried the fragrant mushroom egg rolls, and the onion and chili crusted short rib egg noodles, which were also great.

The one spoiler? Being hit on by a guy on the table next to us who was on a family holiday. As in, sitting with his parents and siblings. Who does that?!

As the rain came belting down, suitably full of cocktails and dinner, we rolled in very wet and tired in the wee hours of the morning, hoping for a proper nights sleep.